UMass Amherst Announces Membership of Committee Formed to Study Sweatshop Issues

AMHERST, Mass. - Paul Page, vice chancellor for administration and finance at the University of Massachusetts, has announced the members of a newly formed committee that will look into sweatshop issues.

According to Page, the Licensing Code of Conduct Review Committee is charged with assessing whether the University''s code of conduct for firms that are licensed to make clothes and other goods bearing the UMass insignia is both current and effective. The University''s licensing code of conduct was established in 1997 and has been updated several times since then.

Harlan G. Sturm, associate dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, has been named chair of the committee. Members are:

* Sheila Mammen, head of the department of consumer studies;

* Mzamo Mangaliso, associate professor of management;

* Grant Ingle, director of the Office of Human Relations;

* Sidonio Ferreira, operations manager, University Store;

* Ruth Yanka, associate to the vice chancellor for administration and finance;

* Rebecca Austern, undergraduate student;

* Doug Kandt, graduate student;

* Megan Hamilton, representative of UMass Students Against Sweatshops;

* David P. Curley, director of licensing and trademarks, ex officio.

Page said the University had originally intended to send a representative to the founding conference of a new monitoring group, the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), on April 7 in New York City. Page says he has since been informed that the April 7 conference is for WRC members only. Because the University''s committee is just beginning its review, Page says UMass is not ready to join the WRC at this time.

To date, the University has also not aligned itself with another monitoring group, the Fair Labor Association (FLA).

"I am asking the committee to review the available information about the monitoring groups and the potential opportunities offered by each, and to advise the administration on the best course of action," Page says.

The committee plans to make its recommendations to Chancellor David K. Scott''s executive advisory committee by the end of the semester.